Poroporoaki to Tuini Ngawai by Hunaara Hiiroki Tangaere in August 1965.

Tuini Ngāwai, a member of the Te Whānau-ā-Ruataupere sub-tribe of Ngāti Porou, was born in 1910 and died in August 1965. Her tangihanga was held at Pākieikiei Marae, Tokomaru Bay in the meeting house known as the Te Horo-Ki-Rarotonga.

Throughout her life, Tuini was an outstandingly versatile person. She was noted as a dancer, singer, entertainer, composer, poet, teacher and leader. She is especially remembered as the founder in 1939 of the Te Hokowhitu-ā-Tū Māori concert party. The group was organised to give a farewell to local soldiers who were departing overseras. Sir Apirana Ngata made a great deal of using Tuini’s concert party in later years for fundraising and encouraged Tuini to teach her songs in East Coast schools. The songs caught on everywhere, not only in Ngāti Porou territory, but throughout the country.

It is said Tuini composed over two hundred pieces altogether. The subjects chosen were those which occur in most poetry: love, death, war and the peace of God. Many others reflect subjects that are peculiarly Māori, particularly the numerous welcome songs that became a feature of  action groups in the second half of the 20th century. Those songs follow the tradition established by Apirana Ngata, Paraire Tomoana and others in the early 1900s.

Hunaara Hiiroki Tāngaere was well-known on the East Coast. He was a member of Te Whānau-ā-Hunāra, Horoera, East Cape. A colourful and forceful personality, he was a farmer for many years  at Rangitukia and Tikitiki before his retirement. He was sixty three at the time of this speech.

Whaikōrero - Tuini Ngāwai

A 1981 panel discussion recording hosted by Wiremu Parker nō Ngāti Pōrou, with panellists Tamati Kruger no Ngai Tuhoe; and Ruka Broughton nō Ngā Rauru.

Sourcing material from the Centre of Māori Studies and Research from the University of Waikato, the men analyse the whaikorero (formal speech) by Hunaara Hiiroki Tāngaere at the tangihanga of renowned composer Tuini Ngawai (1910 – 1965), at Pakirikiri Marae, Tokomaru Bay.

The Panel

Wiremu Parker ex Te Ara

Wiremu Parker broadcasting to the nation. Photo via Te Ara.

Wiremu Parker (4 Feb 1914–10 Nov 1986) - Ngāti Porou

A widely known and respected broadcaster in the Māori language and in English In addition to more than 40 years of broadcasting work he was a lecturer in adult education, and a teacher and translator of the Māori language.

Ruka Broughton (21 April 1940–17 April 1986) - Ngā Rauru

A tohunga and authority on Nga Rauru and Taranaki history, esoteric lore, whakapapa, and the interpretations of ancient karakia and waiata. He also trained and served as an Anglican priest, and a university academic.

Tamati Kruger - Tuhoe

A recognised authority in Māori language and customary practices and an Māori advocate and social/political analyst who has spent much of his life working in tribal research and development. He has also lectured in Te Reo at Te Pū Wānanga o Anamata

This series was produced by David Somerset in 1981 for the Continuing Education Unit of Radio New Zealand.